Interview with the Quilters of Gees Bend
Interview with the Quilters of Gees Bend

music Hello and welcome to the Chrysler
Museum of Art I’m rick Salsberg director of public
relations re talking about the exhibition quilted gees bend geez band as an
isolated community in Alabama with an incredible traditional group
making and around us and on these walls in these galleries
are about 70 quilts from a remarkable tradition through the
depression and very hard times during the
depression and before and after women ag’s band me probes since southern african-american culture was already
known to have produced among other things in the greatest music
in israel planet Earth there had to be an artistic a component
that a parallel but it hadn’t really come to light so
for the last fifteen to twenty years I’ve been traveling around the South and
photographing interviewing banding collecting and
putting together evidence in the premise that I came to understand which is it Southern
African American culture which is thought to be essentially
nonproductive in the visual arts another kansan so-called intellectual creativity said
an african-american culture developed a some other greatest Visual Arts in
history as this country at least and and it just
wasn’t known in recognizing I had heard about geez be and not
because at least world but because I just as a social
phenomenon he was one of the only places a perhaps
the only place still existing because it was an but an isolated community in a few
hundred people difficult to get into and get out of most to the people there
born there live their dad there very few people
came in cell I was curious to see what pans have on artistic phenomena night a exist that we just didn’t know about I
went there not expecting to find these remarkable quills a had a
clue I’d seen a photograph in a book then im a young he was a small
photograph but there was a quilt and are ya ride there was one the most
remarkable works of art that I’d ever seen is now on the cover the book that accompanies this show as
added to just call and see who she was and if
possible that quilt still existed and one thing led to another I came in
found her one night Leighton she was scared me and I scare and she asked me to come back in the
daylight so we has stayed overnight came back the next
day quilted at Main and never told you hang in a museum abominable then be allowed me to come to my house
again for a quickie see in the book you’ll get a
clue that I don’t even know what a clear day he’s a given a trap down at around one
ish down he see nuclear own would pat and main
talking up that would pass took a peek out with
back and putting in a bull he felt and we found that quilt though
she didn’t think she had it up a little strange in urban america
mere minutes on way and he panicked Liam has a debt/equity easy decision as a defended their head nationally in he’s I
want to give you 10 and Ethan an alleged ap gonna be able to get a no-good and they
don’t put too much your leaky one and even to nato be demanded and get a
clue hang up in me unapproachable that led to person in May to see another person in that person sent me to see another
person to disallow to trust each other in respect each other but eventually they took out what they call
the old ugly Ragley things which is what I was
looking for a late up a must be lookin for pretty in fancy
things which they made occasionally but didn’t like to and I said no I wanna see what you
really make what you did to keep yourself warm at first com I missed and there came a
house and he looked at my clip beckwith he’ll
be on the war he thought it was shoppin and I thought
it was nappin and as it turns out that tradition among
african americans love making these very improvisational and more or less unique wills goes back
hundreds of years again it was never very well documented
the only African American quilt sick that documented where the SoCal fancy in pretty ones
that that women made because the slave owner and thereafter would would say make me a
pretty quilt and show ’em a pattern but behind the scenes these women will
make in things that came totally out on their own hearts and souls and minds and these
patterns that you see on the wall here all go back while they’re not patterns
East styles go back hundreds if he has an Angie’s
band basically two hundred years to the a to
the our agenda the community they didn’t really come to light until
fairly recently we hate heart can through we have to
enable grapple we have to leave mystical work to try to
keep well and work hard all your cell and you might not being down again I’m
out the crowd we had a hard task under and do raised the whole degrading chicken
degrade the gold gas but we hey the pan out Neil picked out week that’s what you
hate to call only make active field that’s what we do. don’t with deal tells they police and me and my brother we
would talk war we could do it see my dad was a
way of the 10 and we had everything to do in one
should be just deal with improved so monarchy became 14 it was 40 man
roster acquitted she said to me she’s so much is learn
handed make clues the first scooter ever made was a
strain tweet and I have it today has said that when I
need to give away I’m adjustment path for you another time
a state-backed they kept me back not film to get me back become weakened
old we have nothing to wear on about how my
grandma my mother told me you can go to school Necron you to be so cold I want to go to school
about 12 people with my classmate I want in the evening the daily at me
but I finished the mall invaded I graduated
from college in nineteen 7 stick the mall Eagle a different place in st. Mac that
hangin and no Mike when it’s beautiful I’m not
a fan on paying only on wall wean field in
Seaton ranked ahead and Pierre we hated passed out the house with
newspapers that different paper book and being hook hanger fact wall to him to keep me
in a and told our past may be happy if for Rome nail maneuver though the CBF tyd date who’s hanging on the
wall Cole on 0 in jeans brand alabama won the most
popular patterns is called hostile and basically what
they do is they take a a center block a fabric and then they
poured rectangular strip surrounded this is a pattern that nationally is
commonly called log cabin because the center is thought to represent the
chimney on the cabin and then the strips represent the wart now normally are and most parts of
america this type love unit would be one small
patch in many of them would be used to make a quilt this is something very different at the
G’s benders do is they take these patterns and make a hawk world out of a
single block now sometimes I use it all the way
through this is a a house strawberry and where you basically have a number of
patches but not arranged and an tightly organized fashion so that it has real vitality and life basically you would normally if you’re
doing this and other parts of the country you might have nine patch is here where they be a neat
little rows here you have 8 to at the bottom and three over three at the top now the caller’s go probation a pale
yellow to coral to read here cherry red and peach now let’s look at how this same type a
pattern works out when done in pale yellow a
Bayesian almost looks like a minimalist caning with a little surprise element in
here that red stripe now you may have noticed the texture of
the something else is very different about gees bend squirrels is that the women use all
sorts of fabrics in the nineteen seventies there was a
cartridge industry of making proper chance for Sears and
Roebuck and with the leftover corduroy they started making quarter or a quilt
something you don’t get as far as I know in any other part of the country but they have wonderful texture you have
the ribbing of the quarter or giving them real life and vitality so on the wall the read
like painting but there are also other school these quotes are amazing on

6 thoughts on “Interview with the Quilters of Gees Bend”

  1. Tammie Bowser says:

    Thanks for sharing, I love it!

  2. TheJgriff72 says:

    Grew up in Alabama. Knew of Gee's Bend all my life. I got to meet the quilters one day. They acted like I was a long lost child. Welcomed me to watch them quilt and sang gospel songs as they worked. Lovely women.

  3. Nene Salud says:


  4. Nathaniel Pettway says:

    Nathaniel PETTWAY

  5. Nathaniel Pettway says:


  6. Gloria Zapata says:

    Hermosos. Todas unas artistas vanguardistas

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